Shortstop Gavin Cecchini has never hit like this since being drafted by the Mets.
The 12th overall pick in 2012, Cecchini batted .256 with just one home run during his first two pro seasons in 2012 and 2013, beset by a broken finger and a sprained ankle that limited him to just 109 games. Cecchini hit .247 with eight home runs in 2014, but needed a valiant second-half effort just to get there. He was batting .190 on July 27, but hit .284 (33-for-116) the rest of the way.
This season has been a completely different story.
Cecchini, a Louisiana native, is batting .331 with a .387 on-base percentage, 11 doubles and four home runs. He's walked 13 times and struck out only 16 times in 157 at-bats.
It doesn't matter which splits you look at, the 21-year-old Cecchini is raking. At home he hits .313, on the road .351. During the day he's a .326 hitter, at night he bats .333. He hit .333 in April and .315 in May. The righthanded hitter crushes lefthanders with a .469 average, but he has a .296 average and .355 OBP against righthanders.
During a 6-4 loss to Trenton on Tuesday, Cecchini was 3-for-4 with a double, walk and run scored.
Leftfielder Michael Conforto, the Mets' top pick in the 2014 draft, was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs for Mets' Double-A affiliate Binghamton (26-25, 4th place in Eastern League Eastern, 5.5 games back).
Reliever Vic Black, rehabbing from neck and shoulder injuries, pitched a perfect seventh inning, striking out one. In 10 rehab games, Black has struck out seven in 9 2/3 innings with a 2.79 ERA.
Elsewhere in the minors
TRIPLE-A LAS VEGAS
(29-24, 1st place in Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern)
Struggling righthander Matt Bowman struck out two in five innings, allowing six hits, three walks and four runs (two earned) during a 6-0 loss to Memphis. The Las Vegas offense managed just four hits - all singles - and two walks. Bowman (2-7, 6.53 ERA) gave up just a single and a walk during four scoreless innings to start the game but gave up a two-run homer in the fifth. With two outs, third baseman Alex Castellanos' fielding error extended the inning and Bowman allowed two more runs on a bases-loaded single.
SINGLE-A ADVANCED ST. LUCIE
(27-25, 2nd place in Florida State League South, 7.5 games back)
First baseman Dominic Smith, the Mets' top draft pick in 2013, was 2-for-5 with two doubles, and centerfielder Champ Stuart went 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base as the Mets beat Bradenton, 7-6. Closer Akeel Morris pitched two perfect innings for his ninth save, striking out three. Morris (1.37 ERA) has allowed seven hits and 13 walks in 26 1/3 innings, striking out 36.
(25-27, T-3rd place in South Atlantic League Southern, 6 games back)
Righthander Casey Meisner struck out three in 8 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits, two walks and one run in a 4-1 win over Asheville. Meisner (5-1, 1.88 ERA) has allowed more than one earned run just three times in nine starts in 2015 and never more than three earned runs. Tuesday was his third consecutive start of at least seven innings.
Rightfielder Wuilmer Becerra, one of the players acquired from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey trade, was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a home run. Becerra, 20, has a .491 slugging percentage and has driven 22 of his 49 hits for extra bases. He's hitting .366 (15-for-41) with two home runs, five doubles and a triple in his last 10 games.
ROOKIE - DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE METS 1
(3-0, 1st place in DSL Boca Chica South)
Centerfielder Anthony Dirocie was 2-for-4 with a double, home run and two walks and catcher Juan Uriarte's one-out bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 12th gave the Mets a 4-3 win over the DSL Yankees 1.
ROOKIE - DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE METS 2
(1-2, T-2nd place in DSL Boca Chica North, 1 game back)
Third baseman Rigoberto Terrazas was 3-for-5 with a double and catcher Carlos Sanchez homered, but the Mets fell to the DSL Pirates, 7-6.